Off-Road Camping (25)

Joaquin and Gypsy's Housetruck

Some years ago Joaquin De La Cruz traded his ’48 Triumph motorcycle for this vintage Chevy Flatbed — and with little money, much imagination, and found discards — set about making one of the most unique ever to roll along America’s roads.

For the last five years Joaquin, Gypsy, and their three kids — Heather, Bear, and Serena — have moved around the country and were last seen parked along California’s Feather River…

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Couple Converts Airport Shuttle Bus into Home on Wheels

After graduating from college, Pete Thuli and Taylor Bucher spent 10 months traveling through Southeast Asia, and when they returned home to the U.S., they realized how much of their own country they had never seen.

“We knew that committing ourselves to an office job straight out of college wouldn’t make us happy, so we started brainstorming ways we could travel and work for an extended amount of time,” the couple told TODAY Home. Their winning idea: an 80-square-foot van that needed some TLC.

Originally a San Diego airport shuttle bus, the van had also been most recently used as a construction vehicle. When they bought it for $4,500, there were a lot of random accessories and additions that each owner had added to it and modified…

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Nomadic Photographer Lives, Works & Travels in Teardrop Trailer

So many of us perform the duties and live the lives that’s expected of us: kids that conform to the rules at home and school, or the responsible parent that works hard at a boring day job to provide for their kids. But there’s probably also many of us that harbour fantastical inklings of dropping everything to travel and to pursue our true passions. Yet, it’s likely that many of us won’t make the plunge, probably because we fear change and the prospect of the unknown.

But change — and uncertainty — can be good. For American freelance photographer Mandy Lea, change came in the guise of a teardrop trailer that she calls her home — a mobile place of belonging that she feels connected to as she travels the country, snapping incredible images of nature. For the last two years, she’s been a full-time solo “teardropper”, visiting some of the most majestic spots one could imagine.

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Mike Basich's Custom Snowchaser

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Photo by Evan Kahn

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Photo by Mike Basich

He bought a 1999 Dodge Ram and started by cutting out the back cab and fitting a massive custom roll bar made out of 2″ square tubing where the end of the cab used to be. He then built a custom camper to fit the truck bed, with a liftable top. This way, after the snowmobile is secured, the roof could raise to allow for a more comfortable living space…

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The 2,500-Mile Across-USA Expedition of Bernie Harberts and His Mule Polly

333Hi Lloyd,

Last we spoke, I was telling you about the “Lost Sea Expedition.” It was just mule Polly and me traveling across the U.S.A. in our wagon. We were looking for stories behind the Lost Sea, the ancient seabed that once covered the Great Plains.

I filmed the journey without a film crew, support vehicle or sponsor. I charged my camera gear off the solar panel bolted to the wagon roof. Now, that footage has been turned in to the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series.

First, a bit about the journey:

As I bumped across the U.S.A. in my wagon, I folks what they knew about the Lost Sea. Early on, a Lakota elder told me about “buffalo stones” — fossils from a marine creature called a baculite. From there, the story took off in all directions. I thought I was looking for a vanished sea. Instead, I unearthed an all-American web covering topics as far ranging as the Ogallala Aquifer, creationism, evolutionism, prairie fever, and Depression-era horse breaking.

Who knew that diving in to the origins of a long-vanished sea would turn in to a journey to the heart of America?

2,500-mile wagon route across America

I think I dove so deep in to the fabric of America because I went so small. I traveled in the manner of our ancestors, men in wagons with time and high hopes but not much money. I built the wagon myself. It was so tiny, I could heat it with a few candles and my mule Polly could pull it alone. It was big enough for my film gear, a few clothes and some food … just.

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A visitor checks out the wagon. At just over 30 inches, it soon became clear why my friends referred to it as the MRI machine (or the porta-john). Damn, I could barely roll over in that thing, a task that got tougher and tougher the higher I piled the sleeping bags!

IMG_8712.jpegOut there rolling across the land, I learned that the smaller you travel, the more you expose yourself to the weather, the heat, the cold, the ups and downs and the people you meet along the way. Because my mule needed to eat and drink every day, I was limited in how far I could travel every day. On average, I went 8 to 10 miles before knocking off for the night.

That meant every day, wherever I was a few hours before dark, that’s where I spent the night. That also meant I knocked on a LOT of doors asking my well-prepared line, “Hi I’m Bernie and this is my mule Polly. Do you have a place we could camp for the night?”

And that, that dependence on strangers met along the way, that documenting all weathers, animals and climes, is what gives the “Lost Sea Expedition” such incredible insight in to America.

I made the “Lost Sea Expedition” for all those people who dream of adventuring, running away, or just taking a break from life’s responsibilities. I made this series for all the folks I met on the road who said, “Man, I’d love to do what you’re doing but…” and then they’d give me reasons why they couldn’t break free. Hopefully, it will inspire others to finally break the bonds of what’s keeping them back.

Plenty more about the Lost Sea Expedition at www.lostseaexpedition.com.

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Bernie Harberts' Lost Sea Expedition TV Series

Bernie Harberts was featured in our book Tiny Homes (pp. 188–189). He traveled from Canada to Mexico for 14 months in a 21-square-foot wagon pulled by a mule. Here is a letter we just received from him.

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Howdy Lloyd,

Many mule miles, no letters…

You featured mule Polly and her wagon in your Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter book. That story continues.

What I never really said much about is that I filmed that 14-month voyage across America. That voyage is now the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series. The site and official trailer are at: www.lostseaexpedition.com.

I’ve attached some photos for you. I’d love to share the story and news with your blog readers.

Hell, I know you’re busy. You write you could use a clone. No worries. I’ll write the content for you. Just tell me what would work for you (short article, picture essay, blog post, etc).

Hope you and the hummers are well. You and I have lived for we know the jubilation of a thawed hummer flying from our hands!

Keep groovin’
–Bernie Harberts
www.lostseaexpedition.com
A Man A Mule America

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Foot-Powered Washing Machine Available for Purchase

yirego_drumi_washerThe Drumi is designed for campers, students, off-gridders or anyone else who would rather use their foot to power their wash loads than electricity. At only 22 inches tall, the Drumi can handle 6 or 7 individual garments (about 5 lbs of clothes) at once, but only one pair of jeans. (If you’ve ever hand-washed a pair of jeans, this makes perfect sense to you.) Ideal for delicate items or baby clothes, the Drumi uses only five liters or just over a gallon of water to clean a load of clothes.

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